Polio eradication is the latest fashion trend in Brazil

130830_gabbyBy Gabriela Simionato Klein, public relations specialist

If you take a walk through the Iguatemi, a luxury shopping mall in São Paulo, you can expect to see prestigious brand-name garments from all over the world. But if you strolled through the mall in early August, you’d also have seen the familiar red, white and yellow of the End Polio Now logo on T-shirts in the display windows of Forum Tufi Duek.

The display coincided with a special party the Brazilian label hosted for top model Isabelli Fontana, one of the latest people to become a Rotary Ambassador for polio eradication. Continue reading

Spain rises to the top of World’s Biggest Commercial

Spanish Rotarians promote the World's Biggest Commercial and polio eradication.

Spanish Rotarians promote the World’s Biggest Commercial and polio eradication.

By Pablo Ruiz, Rotary Public Image coordinator for Spain and Portugal

As a Rotary public image coordinator, I have the responsibility to do whatever I can to increase the public’s awareness of Rotary and what we stand for. The goal is of course to  increase membership.

In Spain and Portugal, we have just under 8,000 Rotarians, and our resources are certainly limited. When we saw that Korean Rotarians were leading all countries in the number of photos uploaded to the World’s Biggest Commercial, we were inspired to action. We knew we had to come up with a strategy to increase our participation. Continue reading

Portugal takes part in World’s Biggest Commercial

Manuel Cordeiro's This Close picture for the World's Biggest Commercial.

Manuel Cordeiro’s This Close picture for the World’s Biggest Commercial.

By Manuel Cordeiro, member of the Rotary Club of Vila Real, Portugal

In January, I took on the responsibility of coordinating Portugal’s participation in the World´s Biggest Commercial video. After hearing from some fellow Rotarians, we followed a very simple strategy: involve the entire family of Rotary in this task. Continue reading

A tribute to a true hero of polio eradication

Ali Maow Maalin in 1977. Photo by John F. Wickett/WHO

Ali Maow Maalin in 1977. Photo by John F. Wickett/WHO

Editor’s note: Ali Maow Maalin, a district polio officer, passed away on 22 July in his home district of Merka, Somalia, due to a sudden illness. Below is a blog post by George R. Camp, a Rotary Foundation Cadre technical adviser and past governor of District 7230 (Bermuda and part of New York, USA), which appeared on our blog recently honoring Maalin.

Who are the true heroes of polio eradication?

Somalia, once polio-free, is again batting an outbreak of the virus. According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, there were 45 cases of polio in Somalia this year as of 9 July, nearly half the cases occurring worldwide in 2013. Continue reading

Dr. Bob Scott’s birthday bash

Dr. Robert Scott (in traditional kilt) with Al Brisco, a member of the Rotary Club of Colborne, Ontario, Canada, during the celebration for Scott.

Dr. Robert Scott (in traditional kilt) with Al Brisco, a member of the Rotary Club of Colborne, Ontario, Canada, during the celebration.

By Dave Andrews, public relations chair for District 7070 (Ontario, Canada)

More than 200 Rotarians and guests from around the world attended a black tie dinner 31 May in  Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, to wish Dr. Bob Scott a happy birthday and honor him for a “Life of Greatness” in his never-ending commitment to the children of the world to eradicate polio, forever.

The event, organized and chaired by our past district governor and current Foundation committee chair, was a major highlight for District 7070 (southern Ontario), and a tremendous success. Continue reading

Million dollar donation for polio eradication

Sir Emeka Offor

Sir Emeka Offor

Sir Emeka Offor, of Nigeria, is chairman of the Chrome Group, a leading conglomerate in oil and gas services, power, logistics and telecommunications. A Rotarian, Offor is a member of the Arch C. Klumph Society, which honors those who give at least US$250,000 to the Foundation. On Monday, Offor announced he is giving another US$1 million to the Rotary Foundation for polio eradication. We caught up with Offor after his announcement at the PolioPlus Advocacy Workshop at the 2013 Rotary Convention in Lisbon. Continue reading

Koreans take part in World’s Biggest Commercial

Oh-Sin Kwon, Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 9/10A Korea, makes the This Close gesture for the World's Biggest Commercial.

Oh-Sin Kwon, Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 9/10A Korea, makes the This Close gesture for the World’s Biggest Commercial.

By Oh-Sin Kwon, Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 9, 10A Korea

I was shocked, and a little ashamed, to learn in early December that only a handful of Korean Rotarians had taken part in the efforts to make The World’s Biggest Commercial. South Korea, home to more than 60,000 Rotarians, is a strong Rotary country and has contributed more than US$10 million annually to The Rotary Foundation in the last three years.

I knew I had to take steps immediately to reverse this situation. I share some of these here in the hope of inspiring other Rotarians to get involved, and get others involved, in this important campaign. Continue reading

Eyewitness to polio immunization days in Nigeria

Nigerian Rotaractor Obiya Williams (center) with other independent monitors during National Immunization Days. Photo courtesy of Obiya Williams

Nigerian Rotaractor Obiya Williams (center) with other independent monitors during National Immunization Days. Photo courtesy of Obiya Williams

By Obiya Williams, a member of the Rotaract Club of Abakaliki, Nigeria

During the second week of January, I was invited by a friend to a seminar in Abakaliki organized by the World Health Organization to train youth to assist in monitoring immunization efforts. At the end of the program, they conduct a test.

Luckily for me, I received a text several days later congratulating me for my test results and inviting me to serve as an independent monitor with a team taking part in National Immunization Days in February. After four days, I did not want it to end. Continue reading

To Buenos Aires and back for polio eradication

Competitors in the Doble Bragado cycling race in Argentina take a moment to promote polio eradication. Photo courtesy Rotary District 4855

Cyclists in the Doble Bragado promote polio eradication. Photo courtesy Rotary District 4855

By Marcelo Frangiosa, governor of District 4855 (Argentina)

Rotarians in District 4855 recently had a chance to share Rotary’s polio eradication message with cycling enthusiasts during one of Argentina’s premier sporting events, the Doble Bragado.

As a result of a lot of hard work from many Rotarians in the district, thousands of spectators and nearly a hundred competing cyclists learned why Rotary is so committed to ridding the world of this crippling disease. Continue reading

Health days event invests in the future of children

Stéphanie Tobler Mucznik and the film crew in South Africa.

Stéphanie Tobler Mucznik and the film crew in South Africa.

Stéphanie Tobler Mucznik, senior media relations specialist for Europe and Africa in RI’s Zurich office, spent a week with a film crew in Johannesburg, South Africa, documenting the three-day family health day event organized by Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention.

“I believe God sent us the Rotarians”, says single mother Innocentia.

We are chatting in her family’s backyard, Innocentia is sitting on a wooden stool, and her baby is sleeping on her back, wrapped in a towel, while Grandmother Gloria is doing the laundry in a metal bucket. Continue reading